Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion in Babies


Do you know about heat stroke or heat exhaustion in babies?

What are the symptoms of a heat stroke in babies or toddlers?

What precautions should be taken to avoid heat stroke? What is the treatment for heat stroke in babies?

Let me give you answers to all these questions through this post.

heat stroke in babies

‘Child left unattended in car dies of heat stroke’- You must have read the news or heard it in news channels. Sad it is, but this happens now and then in many parts of the world.

The main reason for such incidents is the unawareness of parents regarding safety measures to be taken for children and zero knowledge of heat stroke.

Heat stroke or heat exhaustion in babies:

Heat stroke is a condition in which the body temperature rises considerably high because of the hot temperature or weather outside. During heat stroke, the body will not have the ability to cool off.

Heat strokes can happen to anyone, but babies, young children and elderly people are especially vulnerable to this.

People with certain conditions like kidney, heart disease, circulation problems and diabetic patients on insulin also have chances of getting a heat stroke.

What are the chances of my baby getting a heat stroke?

If your baby is outside for too long in hot weather especially wearing too tight and warm dresses in hot weather and is dehydrated, there are chances of your baby getting a heat stroke.

A long car drive in hot climate with no temperature regulation or baby left in a car unattended can also get a heat stroke. The temperature in cars will be higher than the outside temperature and can cause a heat stroke with in minutes.

A baby in small closed rooms with no proper ventilation or air circulation and temperature control can also have heat strokes.

Heat stroke symptoms in babies and kids:

The signs and symptoms of heat stroke are as follows.

  • Unusually thirsty and tired
  • Dehydration
  • Hot, red, dry skin
  • A rise in body temperature above 39 degrees Celsius but usually no sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Restlessness/ confusion/dizziness
  • A cramp in legs or stomach (older kids may say this)
  • Headache making the baby irritable
  • Vomiting
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Not responding in usual way
  • In extreme cases unconsciousness

What to do if my baby has heat stroke/heat exhaustion?

The first thing you should do is to bring the body temperature to normal levels. For this you should bring your baby to a cool area. Undress the baby completely and fan him or use a wet cloth and wipe the baby to cool him down.

If your baby is breastfeed breast feed him or give him formula milk to keep him hydrated. For older children give plain water. No other drinks are preferred, just plain cool water should be given.

If you are outside find a place where there is shade. But it will be always better if you can bring the baby to a cool room at the earliest.

Never give medicines to lower temperature during heat strokes. It will not help, as the increase in temperature is not because of fever.

All these should be done as soon as you suspect a heat stroke.

Heat strokes can be fatal and if you are late to control it your baby can go to unconsciousness. In the worst cases heat stroke can even lead to deaths.

If your baby is not better even after the first aids, please take him to the doctor at the earliest.

What are the measures to prevent heat strokes/exhaustion in babies?

  • Dress lightly. Light shade loose fitting dresses are best
  • Limit outdoor time during hot weather
  • Keep them indoors during the peak hot hours
  • Keep your baby hydrated
  • Don’t leave your baby unattended in closed cars or small rooms
  • Make sure that you baby’s temperature is normal while having long drives/travels
  • Give the first aid as soon as you suspect a heat exhaustion

Remember- it only takes a few minutes for your baby’s body temperature to increase in hot weather if you are not taking proper precautions.

Be safe and keep your babies safe this summer.

You can also read about summer care for babies, home remedies for prickly heat and toddler n baby care during summer.

Hope this article on heat stroke in babies was informative. Kindly help to spread a word about this article by sharing in your Facebook and Twitter.


About Author

Anu Prabin is a software engineer turned freelance writer who loves to pen down her journey and experience as a mother. She likes to connect with like-minded moms. Movies, books, and food are the three things that cheer her up. She enjoys doing arts and crafts with her son and shares various fun activities for kids through her Instagram account @thebacktoschoolmom. She wholeheartedly promotes the habit of reading in kids and considers books as the perfect gift for any occasion. A typical Kerala mom, she is currently settled in UAE along with her husband and son.


    • I too was unaware of heat strokes in babies. I read in newspaper about 3-4 different incidents of death or unconsciousness due to heat stroke. So thought of reading more on it and found out that these are not so rare incidents and can happen to anyone if proper precautions are not taken. So wrote this article to spread the word.

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